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Donald Windham "The Kelly Boys" short story

Collection number: ahc.MSS795f

Scope and Content

This collection consists of one copy of "The Kelly Boys," a short story written by Donald Windham in the form of a letter with date line "Atlanta May 1939." The story itself follows the narrator's internal observation of the eponymous Kelly boys, three brothers of "unimaginably beautiful" appearance. The story contains themes of voyeurism and homoerotic desire. Its setting is Atlanta, and it mentions local landmarks, like Peachtree Street. "The Kelly Boys" was not widely circulated; this copy is number 170 of 240 printed copies.


  • 1939


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Donald Windham (1920-2010) was an American writer whose work possesses prominent gay themes. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was raised by his mother and aunt. Windham never attended college, and started working after high school at The Coca-Cola Company. He moved to New York in 1939, where he befriended Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote, with whom he remained friends for many years. In 1943 he entered a romantic relationship with Sandy Montgomery Campbell, an actor and publisher. He details his relationships with Williams and Capote in his memoir, Lost Friendships, published in 1987. In 1960, Windham was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. His published work includes several books and short stories, including The Dog Star (1950), Emblems of Conduct (1964), Two People (1965), and Tanaquil (1972).


1 folder(s)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 2008

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2018.

Donald Windham "The Kelly Boys" short story
Karissa Kang
May 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305